As a high school student, I have witnessed countless strategies teachers use to take control in a classroom. When in class I notice how impactful they are, even the normally disruptive people are quiet, which is very helpful. When teaching it is difficult to demand respect but that is required to teach. Similarly, I have also experienced how quickly it is to lose that control in the classroom due to a student’s behavior or comment. Through the years, I’ve noticed there are three different kinds of teachers. Either they are teaching for the money, for the children, or for summer break. With this being said, here are 6 ways I believe will increase how you are viewed and your effectiveness in the classroom.
- Make your rules clear
Rule one starts on day one. The most important rule is to make your rules clear. This one is difficult to do in the middle of the year, since you’ve previously allowed certain things, expecting a change in the middle of the year is selfish so make sure it’s reasonable and that there is no need for change. Not every class is run the same way students are cunning enough to understand. So if you don’t establish clear rules the students will decide for themselves whether or not what they want to do is against the rules. Students are very understanding when not being targeted so doing this with the whole class can make or break a relationship you have with them.
- Stick to your rules
Although it may be painful to watch a student give up after being redirected it is not your fault. If there is only one student who doesn’t know what’s going on or expected no excuse there is no reason to help them because it means they were not paying attention. Countless teachers give in to their students after hearing “whatever” or “then I won’t do my work” and “that’s not fair” but to everyone else, you’re not being fair by giving them special treatment. If however, you believe they truly need help, have them restate the question in their own words to see what it is that they don’t understand, most of the time it is just confidence and a fear of being dumb but they cannot learn if you just give them the answers.
- Treat everyone the same
Similarly, this too should be obvious but is sometimes overlooked. Treat the class the same. Surprisingly enough there are tons of teachers who will let a student bend or even break the rules without punishment simply for complaining about it. If a person is being emotional that should not exempt them from the rules, it doesn’t mean they care more, only that they have less self-control. When someone is being punished for what they’ve done they should not be able to convince you to change your verdict. Especially on the minor problems because they happen more often.
- Give small amounts of homework
The main reason you should give students homework is so you can see what they need help with. The way you teach a child is different from the way that their parents were taught so they are no help so “As homework increased so [does] family stress.” However, with the internet coming up with all these ways to cheat and parents trying to help look for A’s, homework is just becoming an unnecessary chore. If they receive help you no longer see what they are capable of. Instead, have a weekly test/ quiz without answering any questions. This way you get to actually see what they still need help with.
- Give personal schedules
If a teacher gives all students personal schedules. On it, you should put assignments and whether or not there was homework on each day of the month. This way there is no reason for confusion, you let them know what it is they will be doing ahead of time. This allows for the incentivized organization as well as increased participation. Students will know what they are going into and be able to mentally prepare themselves for class.
- Create incentives
Everyone loves good competition but when in class there is a lack of motivation so as a teacher you should create one. Some examples are candy, homework passes, stickers or extra credit. When doing so you may increase how much of the class is paying attention. When in class the main reason for being off topic is students not caring about the lesson. It’s hopefully nothing personal but the lesson is boring so to offset this creating incentives is the way to go.
In the end, in order to be the best teacher possible, you need to make your rules clear to the whole class. You need to stick to your rules and treat everyone the same. Similarly, you need to give small amounts of homework, give personal schedules and create incentives.